Wondering into debt is not only easy, but also foolish. I can attest to this as I’ve wondered more times into debt than wondering into anything else. I’ve proven that it may be easy to wonder into debt, but you simply do not wonder out of debt. Wondering into debt only takes a brief moment, 5-10 minutes here, maybe a day there. Wondering out can take years, decades, or lifetime.
When I was 19, I started college at a state university. The ink was not dry on the application before the Student Aid Office was presenting me with promissory notes for student loans. I probably wouldn’t be far off in saying that most college students, including myself at the time, really didn’t read the paperwork or even question it. So I did what every other college student did, I buried my head in the sand and foolishly signed on the dotted line.
Twenty years later, after dutifully paying month-after-month, with a forbearance here and deferment there, my balance remains the same. I’ve already “paid” off my loans if you add up all of the money I’ve sent them over the past 20 years, but my balance hasn’t decreased. This is not what I thought would happen when signing the promissory notes.
Another foolish debt mistake I “wondered” into was credit card debt. Back when I was 19, credit cards were mainly applied for by mail after they sent you an offer. Providian sent me a mailer that I was pre-approved for a gold card. I thought I’d finally made it in the world and got my first credit card. It only took a few months to max it out and only a few more months before I couldn’t afford the minimum payment.
That was only the start of my troubles with a sometimes unbearable debt load and hopelessness. I’m sure many of you can relate to the feeling of wondering into debt and struggling to get out of it.
I’d love to hear from you about your struggles with debt and just how easy it was for you to stumble into debt.